Helen Snelson

Profile

Biography

I am the Curriculum Area Leader for the Secondary History PGCE course. My role is to support and develop teacher trainees to become NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) who feel fully prepared to start their career as History teachers. To do this, I work with a wonderful team of school based History teacher mentors. Together we encourage trainees to become reflective practitioners who know how to engage and inspire their students with a love of the past and how to enable them to make the best possible progress in History.

My role at the University is part-time and for the rest of the week I am teaching in a local school and working on history education development projects. I taught for 20 years in a variety of 11-18 secondary schools and I am a Chartered History Teacher. When I was a Head of History, my department became the first in the country to be awarded the Historical Association's Quality Mark at Gold Level. I am now Chair of the Historical Association’s Secondary Committee.

I believe that really good teachers are always learning, and that high-quality, subject specific CPD (continuing professional development) and strong networks are crucial to keep teachers themselves engaged and inspiring for their pupils. Trainees at York are encouraged to get involved in History teaching networks, and thus to contribute to the development of the profession, from the very start of their training.

I have a particular interest in helping History teachers to stay abreast of recent historical scholarship, access diverse source material and use this to make sure that their teaching of History reflects the multi-perspectivity of modern society.

Research

Overview

Current areas of work:

  • Researching and developing lesson sequences about the histories of people with disability
  • Mentoring of early career history teachers (ITT trainees, NQTs and RQTs)
  • Strategies for debate, discussion and dialogue in history classrooms across Europe
  • Subject knowledge updating for classroom history teachers

External activities

Memberships

I have various other roles:

  • Teaching fellow and trustee of the UK Historical Association (HA) and Chair of the HA’s Secondary Committee. Learning editor for EUROCLIO (the European Network of History Educators) Historiana project
  • Regular presenter at conferences for SHP (Schools History Project), HA and EUROCLIO
  • Project partner for the EUROCLIO ‘Learning to Disagree’ project
  • Textbook author for Hodder SHP KS3 series
  • Writer of learning activities for Historiana.eu and thinkinghistory.co.uk and of articles for the journal ‘Teaching History’
  • Contributor to ‘Debates in History Teaching’ ed. I Davies (Routledge, 2017)
  • Assistant co-ordinator of YorkClio (the City of York network of History teachers)
  • Member of the Royal Historical Society

Contact details

D/K/011
Department of Education
University of York
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323772

@SnelsonH